I don’t know if it was because my late husband Chris and I had been unhappily married before, but we never took each other for granted. Three months before Chris passed away – when so much has already been taken from him – he looked at me and said: “We are one of the happiest couples I have ever known.” He was right; we were.
Chris and I accepted each other as we were. Even when he wore the most atrocious shirts – to my taste at least – I’ve never said anything. I didn’t because I accepted him. And when I was caught in my rat wheel, he stood by me patiently letting me know he was there.
We were each others best friends. We supported one another on the path we chose for ourselves. There was never any talk of “you should be this way or you should do this.” Our talks were more about how we could support each other in our life adventures.
We checked in with each other during the day and at night we had what I called “quality time.”
Quality time was when we turned the lights out and before going to sleep in the darkness we held each other and shared our feelings. Whatever they were, we were there to listen.
We made a point – without making a point – to thank each other for little things we did. We also paid compliments as often as possible. Not phony ones, but real ones that came from having slowed down enough to pay attention to one another.
Chris used to bring me flowers and I cooked special meals for him. Without thinking about it, we were making sure we both knew how appreciated we were and how lucky we felt to be together. Sometimes we even blurted out: “I’ve never thought I could be this happy.”
I think that was the secret of our beautiful relationship. Not just that we loved and appreciated each other, but that we let one another know.
Time goes by quickly and we never know what turns life will take. Why not let the people we love know how much we appreciate them? That is the secret to a successful relationship.
Please read on.
The Secret to Extraordinary Love Every Day (And 6 Easy Ways to Make it Happen)
By Ashley Davis Bush, LCSW
In a word: appreciation. It sounds simple but its power is super-charged. The dual aspects of gratitude and recognition, both imbedded in the loving art of appreciation, are like sunshine and water to a plant..Continued
As modern couples, we are at extreme risk for taking each other for granted. We juggle career, family, home management, extended families, aging parents, and health concerns. It’s no wonder that our most intimate relationship gets lost in the day to day shuffle…Continued
If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get – Frank A. Clark
One of the great stumbling blocks for being content right now is our constant need to wish we were someplace else or that our lives were different. How many of us have said or thought: “I’m going to be happy when I get XYZ” or “I’m holding off experiencing XXX for when I have XYZ.” Here’s a news flash: we may never get or have XYZ or at least in the manner we dream about. So does that mean we give up on being content? Absolutely not; we give up in not living our lives today for a future which may or may never happen.
Concentrating and appreciating who we are and the lives we have today is key to lightness of the heart. Listening to what others are doing with jealousy and badgering ourselves over what we don’t have, results in frustration and unhappiness; there is no need for that. Every single one of us has enough reasons to appreciate our lives TODAY. We can certainly give merit to our relationships. We can certainly give merit to our accomplishments. And we can certainly give merit to our plans and to who we are. We can also give merit to the simple and free pleasures; nature, and whatever pleasures you fancy like a great meal, a glass of wine of a delicious cup of coffee. It is really truly up to us.
Instead of wishing for the job, money, partner that we want and may not have yet; let’s enjoy the friends, family or accomplishments already achieved. Let’s strategize where we want to go, but let’s live in the present. Let’s find in each moment the richness that creates it, because even in loss and sadness there is great wisdom to be experienced.
Don’t sell yourself short and trash the life you have for an imaginary happiness. Because the truth is: happiness and contentment are not results from anything outside ourselves. It all comes from within. And if you agree with that statement it is in your reach to achieve contentment right NOW.
Being solitary is being alone well: being alone luxuriously immersed in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your won presence rather than of the absence of others. Because solitude is an achievement – Alice Koller
Although loneliness and solitude are often thought to be the same experience, nothing could be further from the truth.
Loneliness manifests itself as a sense of emptiness and isolation while solitude creates a sense of communion with the self.
In loneliness we ache. In solitude we feast. In loneliness we have no one. In solitude we are one with the self.
It is in solitude that we learn to hear our own voice, to recognize and appease the pain and to celebrate who we are.
In solitude we clear out the clutter. We ask and answer such questions as: What’s really important to me? What do I really want?
It is also we solitude that we provide ourselves with simple and meaningful joys.
The only way to end loneliness is through solitude because we are never alone if we are connected to ourselves.
So how do we come to create and appreciate solitude? By taking the time to be by ourselves, to relax and to listen to what really is going on within us. It is also by soothing ourselves with simple activities such as: a bath, a glass of wine, music or meditation.
Solitude is precious time with the self. It is where we plan our next steps.
So I was just reading about Mark Zuckerberg’ decision of slaughtering all the meat he consumes. While I’m no stranger to this action – my grandmother used to kill the chickens my family ate in the back of the house – it made me think how much of life we live without consciousness, and how much we lose because of it.
Zuckerberg says by killing his own animal he will profit in two ways: 1 – he will eat healthier and 2 – he will have a greater connection and consciousness when consuming that which is his life force. I’m interested in the latter concept. In this fast world of ours we often behave as if we were sleep walking and the consequence is we lose many opportunities to be grateful and inspired.
Last night, as I’m getting ready to go to my Yoga class a dear friend of mine calls to invite me for dinner. I first hesitated as I was planning in eating light – post Christmas’ belly blues – and then watching a movie. At the end I said yes as I really love this friend.
I had a really nice slow, stretching Yoga time and then drove to her house through the great winds gushing through Los Angeles. It was almost 9pm when I arrived. My friend was already in the kitchen preparing our dinner. She sat me down at the candle lit dinning-table, plopped my favorite cheese in front of me and then handed a glass of Champagne. As I filled myself up with bread, cheese and Champagne we talked about the changes we want to see happen in our lives in the coming year and about friends and family.
At around 9:30pm my friend served a most fabulous sushi dinner; yellowtail, tuna, fish roe and a salad. As we ate, drank and talked I was reminded of how little it takes to create a magical moment; a good friend, good food, a glass of Champagne and candles.
So often we are focused in chasing after the big things; a better job, relationship, money, and we either don’t create or don’t appreciate the simple moments which are the foundation of our well-being.
Much is being said about the impact our digital and virtual world is having on us, a generation having to adapt, and the younger people who have never known the world to be any different.
I’m one who loves the web. I read, research, communicate and shop online. Sometimes I find myself spending hours in an intimate relationship with the knowledge I find in the virtual world. Having said that, I also spend plenty of time sitting quietly in my yard. I have also learned to notice the trees and the people in my neighborhood and know each new day what the moon looked like the night before.
Finding balance in this fast and interconnected world is key to well-being. No matter who we are, human beings need to love, feel loved and to belong. No wealth of information will ever substitute these basic and most profound needs. We may look more modern than our cave ancestors but the spark of life is still the same. Take time to soak in all the gifts that life gives you on a daily basis. Much can be gotten from simplicity.
Below is a post by Geir Berthelsen that encourages slowing down and changing our corporate mind set which promotes quantity over quality. Enjoy!
Editor’s Note: Geir Berthelsen is a motivational speaker and founder of the think tank The World Institute of Slowness, which promotes “slow” awareness and activities around the globe.
(CNN) — The Industrial Revolution gave us many good things, among them the ability to create large, great cities and feeding enough people to populate them.
But in its aftermath our culture has developed a core focus based on the consumer and not the person as the individual.
As a consequence we have adopted a corporate mind-set which is long on quantity, short on quality, and even shorter on slowness…Continued
We are often tempted to look at other people’s lives and compare. But, when we do so we commit a grave error; we forget life is not what it looks like, but what it feels like.
Each one of us has different things to observe, learn, and experience in our journeys. Each one of us has certain facilities and difficulties. And each one of us has different aspirations. How could we compare?
Can you imagine what kind of world we would live in if each on of us did something for another? Watch this inspiring story of a raising chef feeding the homeless with love and commitment.
Simply stated, we need to unplug. If we keep running around trying to complete as many tasks as we can in a day we miss the point of life which is to enjoy the small things, the surprises and to be ready for when opportunity appears.
“All appears to change when we change.” -Henri-Frédéric Amiel
“…our moment-to-moment happiness is largely determined by our outlook. In fact, whether we are feeling happy or unhappy at any given moment often has very little to do with our absolute conditions but, rather it is a function of how we perceive our situation, how satisfied we are with what we have.” – Dalai Lama
It is okay for us to have dreams and work towards achieving them but having an appreciation for our already achieved accomplishments is what gives us a sense of well being. If our eyes are always in the future, then our present has no value and we feel depleted and dissatisfied. Life is meant to be lived in the present.